I suppose most people start thinking about getting recommendations when they are about to leave their current job. It should be a flag for any manager when an employees LinkedIn profile starts getting a lot of recommendations in a very short timespan. I am almost certain that if you look at LinkedIn’s statistics you will see a high degree of correlation between “recommendation frequency” and job changes.
I don’t care much for these recommendations. To me they have zero value; instead I prefer looking at a portfolio of products. I once hired a guy who brought a folder with screenshots from the apps he’d made in his spare time. Turns out the guy was one of the best programmers I ever met, and more importantly – because he had such talent, he did not need me, or anyone else, to write a blurb stating that he had talent on his LinkedIn profile when he wanted to leave. It is obvious if you have real talent, and fairly obvious if you do not.
While we sometimes stumble across a diamond in the rough, it makes a lot more sense to me to pick diamonds from a barrel of diamonds. I have a really hard time understanding why you want to pick up sailors that ran their ship aground; while they now have “experience”, they also proved that they were poor sailors. When you pick a crew, do you pick a drunk from a a ship hardly seaworthy, imagining that he is just a victim of the circumstances, or do you pick one from the pristine vessel that is the envy of every other sailor on the dock?